This theoretical article posits a critical educational perspective on school bullying, whereby focus shifts from the individuals involved to the structural aspects of schooling. The article draws inspiration from critical pedagogy and the sociology of education to critically consider how power relations in schools relate to school bullying through a theorization of the importance of four features of schooling outlined by Duncan (2013): compulsion, compression, control, and competition. The article suggests that rather than merely studying the negative social interactions of individuals or groups of individuals, there needs to be more critical consideration of the educational context within which bullying occurs.
The article discusses bullying as a socially enacted phenomenon and suggests approaching basic bullying mechanisms by combining the concepts of longing for belonging and social exclusion anxiety. At the outset we briefly revisit survey results suggesting bullying practices as a distinct phenomenon. We move on to discuss the current historical push towards an individualization of social phenomena. While introducing a case from a school class saturated with processes of bullying and marginalization, we present an alternative analytical approach emphasizing the social dynamics entailed. The case illustrates how longing for belonging and social exclusion anxiety continuously integrate and work in the enactment of hierarchies and building of communities among the students.
How is it possible that bullying continues to be a common phenomenon in schools, despite the fact that so many teachers, students and parents, through diverse anti-bullying programmes, have been engaged in trying to stop it? This question is addressed in this article through a philosophy of education-based analysis of the phenomenon of bullying. The article builds on results from two research projects financed by the Swedish research Council, and offers a critical reading of the so-called norm-critical (Swedish normkritiska) approaches to bullying. As a result of the analysis made, the article shows how the inequality of the institution itself reproduces the conditions for bullying, and that in order to change those conditions, individual actors in the everyday life of schooling need to confirm their equality.
Bullying causes pain and harm to the victims and creates wounds that often remain even if the bullying stops. Additionally, the social dynamics of the classroom community, where most bullying takes place, may remain after the termination of the active bullying of a pupil. This combination of personal trauma and contextual conditions in the classroom community creates a high risk of negative development. Currently, no class-based efforts to repair damages from bullying exist. We suggest a relational rehabilitation initiative, outlined as a model in this paper, as a constructive solution to the problem. With a caring and supportive classroom community, it is possible to prevent further harm from victimization, and promote the development of prosocial behavior and well-being. We argue that the teacher must possess the authority to lead this process of restructuring and improving relationships in the classroom. Furthermore, this process should explicitly include teaching and training in perception, moral engagement, and social skills.
This article reports an investigation of new forms of work against degrading treatment in Swedish compulsory school. It focuses particularly on how four schools in one municipality enact the far-reaching reporting obligation. The study is theoretically informed by institutional theory and theories on teacher professionalism, and is empirically based on interviews with teachers, head teachers, school health staff, and municipal officials, as well as analysis of policy documents and local statistics. The results show that legal regulation produces institutional complexity that creates tensions between the logic of accountability and the logic of professional responsibility, balanced by school actors in their everyday work.
4-2018, årgang 38
Nordic Studies in Education kommer med 4 nummer| i året.
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